Advice & Education

Is There a Gay Gene?

Biological factors may influence hormonal umbalances in utero, and the influence could skew an unborn baby’s future sexual orientation. To test this theory, scientists at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Oregon have identified rams who show an interest in mounting other rams, electro-ejaculated them to collect sperm, and used the sperm to impregnate ewes. The offspring rams will be tested to see if they show a homosexual orientation. This would support a “gay gene” theory.

So far science has not found a “gay gene”; and there’s no consensus about the ways in which hormonal and environmental facts may influence gender identity and sexual orientation. The Oregon sheep project’s lead scientist, found that a crucial part of homosexual rams’ brains (the “sexually dimorphic nucleus”) looks more like a ewe’s than like a straight ram’s. Separate research shows gay men have a similar brain resemblance to women.